Los Angeles Lakers: Grading Every Player After First 10 Games
The Los Angeles Lakers have once again taken the headlines by storm this season, and it's only been 10 games. But in the midst of all the commotion and drama, it's easy to forget that there is still basketball to be played.
Thus far, the Lakers' play has earned them a .500 record.
From Kobe Bryant's lights-out shooting to Howard's highlight dunks, it's been an entertaining start to the season. But which players have disappointed and which players have excelled?
Let's take a look at each player on the roster and rate their efficiency so far in the 2012-13 season.
Robert Scare: F
Jodie Meeks: D
He's yet to make an impact on the team and frankly, he's been one of the most disappointing players all season.
His shot has been off and there really isn't anything else in his game. He was brought in to knock down jumpers, but they haven't been falling at all.
When you're a one-dimensional player, you have to make sure you're fulfilling that one duty you were brought in for. Thus far, Meeks has failed to do so. He's been one of the worse players for the Lake Show this season.
Devin Ebanks: D
Expectations were a little higher than usual early on in the season for Ebanks. With the Meeks no-show, Ebanks was Kobe's backup for the first few games of the regular season.
But like Meeks, Ebanks has also been a no-show.
He hasn't received a lot of playing time after being arrested on DUI charges, but even before that, he was averaging just 2.5 points per game.
It's a shame. With his length and athleticism, he could have helped the Lakers a lot more than he has thus far in the season.
Chris Duhon: D+
He's been receiving playing time with both Steves out with injuries, but averaging just 2.3 points and 1.8 assists per game won't cut it.
It's too bad. Here's a guy who posted staggering numbers in his peak with the New York Knicks. With Mike D'Antoni returning, his former coach could cut him some slack.
But don't count on it. There are simply too many point guards on this team, and he's been the least productive of the bunch.
Antawn Jamison: D+
He was supposed to be the go-to guy on the Lakers' bench this year. After averaging more than 17 points per game for the Cleveland Cavaliers last season, many fans hoped he would be the savior the bench needed. Thus far, he's been everything but.
Averaging just 4.3 points a game and recording a season-high eight points in a Sunday win over the Houston Rockets, it's safe to say that Jamison has disappointed. He has yet to find a clear identity in this team and there is no real sign that things will change any time soon.
Steve Blake: C+
He's never really been a fan favorite. This year hasn't been different.
As the Lakers' backup point guard, the guy hasn't really shown signs of reliability thus far in the season.
His shooting percentage is just over 35 percent and he is averaging 5.1 points a game. On the bright side, however, the guy did manage to dish out 24 assists, which is good for third on this team.
Steve Nash: B-
Granted, Nash has only played two games for the Lakers, but those were two highly unimpressive games. His numbers currently stand at 4.5 points and 4.0 assists per game.
With D'Antoni running things in L.A., his numbers will likely sky rocket as the season progresses. Even if D'Antoni hadn't been hired, it would have been hard to imagine him posting those kinds of lowly numbers for an entire season.
His current grade is a B-, but as we all remember from grade school, the sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up later in the semester.
Metta World Peace: B-
His point totals are up, but his shooting percentage isn't that high to begin with.
Here's a player who has been one of the Lakers' most inconsistent players for the past few years. This year has been no different.
World Peace has jacked up way too many threes for his own good. His overall shooting percentage currently stands at 40 percent. It's not the worst of percentages, but for someone who shoots the ball so much, you would expect more shots to go in.
But credit must be given where it is due. At 1.6 steals per game, he has been the team's most reliable perimeter defender.
Pau Gasol: B-
Granted, Gasol has had to share the ball more with Howard down low but at 14.3 points per game, it's hard to give him a grade higher than this one considering his superb talent.
Once called the most skilled big man in the game, Gasol's efficiency has dropped over the past few seasons. He has been labeled a soft player, and at times, it is easy to understand why.
Despite all of his flaws, since the Lakers brought in Gasol nearly five years ago, the team has done nothing but win. Even if he has become the Lakers' third option, how many other guys around the league can you name that post 14 points and 10 rebounds per game as the third option? Not many.
Gasol has not been as impressive this year, but Mr. 15,000 points has still been a solid offensive option for the team this season.
Darius Morris: B
Lakers' fans have surely been impressed by this kid's productivity as of late. He scored a career-high 12 points against Houston this Sunday, and he's been lighting it up from long range at 43 percent.
What's really impressive is his quickness. Fans have long asked for a point guard who can actually guard. His speed could prove to be vital when defending quicker guards like Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul later in the season.
If Blake isn't careful, the Lakers might find a new backup point guard for Nash this year.
Jordan Hill: B+
Mr. Activity has been nothing short of outstanding for the bench this year.
Scoring just over seven points per game off the bench this season, Hill has been the unquestionable go-to man for the second unit. His rebounding has also been superb.
After just 10 games, Hill has averaged just over three offensive rebounds a night. A great fraction of his point total comes from those boards.
He's been well worth the two-year, $7 million contract he signed this offseason.
Dwight Howard: A-
Highlight dunks and spectacular blocks. That's what he was brought in here for.
But let's not forget, the guy can play. Howard is currently in the top five in field goal percentage, blocks and rebounds. And yeah, he has also been averaging 20 points a game for his new team after just 10 matches.
If there exists one flaw in this man's game, it's his free-throw percentage. Howard is just over the 50 percent mark this year, but there have been signs of improvement.
Despite his one weakness, Howard has been nothing short of amazing. From his charisma to his efficiency on the floor, he has already become a superstar in L.A. Maybe trading him for Bynum wasn't such a risky move after all.
Kobe Bryant: A
Who did you expect?
Most fans and pundits anticipated a lower efficiency output from Bryant. Boy, has he proved them all wrong so far.
But that's what he lives for.
Bryant recorded the 18th triple-double of his career on Sunday and has been efficient in just about every statistical category this year. He's shooting career highs from the perimeter, the free-throw line and the overall court. With a mark of 26.5, the man is currently ranked third in terms of efficiency ratings per game.
And what else? Oh yeah! He's also leading the league in scoring so far in the season.
MVP? It might be too early to tell, but if his productivity remains this high—and if the Lakers' record improves—his chances of winning that elusive second trophy will be pretty good.
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